Sustainability and Food Articles I have written over the last few months

I have been quiet on here, but I have written a fair bit of content for the Manly Food Co-Op, a member-owned and -run organic grocery store in the heart of Manly on Sydney’s Northern Beaches with a zero waste philosophy. The Co-Op has been around for over 20 years and was about to close in August last year due to financial problems. A group of members got together and ran a 2-week crowd-funding campaign that raised over $52,000 and ultimately saved the Co-Op.

Since September 2017 I have been a member of the Board and am running all aspects of marketing and communications for the Co-Op in a volunteer position, i.e. the social media accounts (Facebook and Instagram), content for the website and weekly newsletter, events, print, … It is fun, but also challenging and can be very time-consuming depending on what we have on (and that is always a lot). 🙂 I am always on the lookout for new volunteers to help with marketing and events. If you want to help let me know.

Now, please enjoy some of the content I have written this year. Happy reading!

1. Is Silicone sustainable?

Food-grade Silicone is not a “100% natural” material like rubber, but it is a non-toxic polymer mostly made from sand (silica). It can be frozen and heated without leaching toxic chemicals unlike some plastics. It is food-safe, non-toxic and does not release odours and as such does not impact food quality …

2. Plastic Free Beauty

We all want to smell nice and look good. Advertising tells us what to buy to be our best. Excessive fancy, colourful packaging and products full of chemicals is often what is offered. Wouldn’t you prefer to know what exactly is in the products you put on your skin and body? And isn’t it better to look for reusable or no packaging at all? Plastic Free July is the perfect time to change habits, look into alternative products or even make your own! …

This article includes recipes for DIY tooth paste, body lotion bars and deodorant, all easy and cheap to make. 🙂

3.  Bulk Milk

The Manly Food Co-Op is the only shop in Sydney to provide real bulk milk. Our shoppers can refill their own bottles with as little or as much milk as they want …

4. How to avoid single-use when out and about

It is usually when you are out and about that you get caught out when it comes to single-use plastic and unnecessary packaging. So being prepared is the best thing. If you are serious about reducing your waste, then preparation is key and you’ll see it will get easier and become natural the more often you do it. And you don’t need to buy anything new, we are sure you already have most of these reusables at home …

5. Plastic Free July

plastic waveWhat a powerful image and message: A surfer riding a wave, the wave though is made of plastic waste – to be precise 1,580kg of it to visualize the amount of plastic going into the oceans every hour!

Just imagine over 1.5 tonnes of plastic enter our beautiful oceans each hour, that is almost 38 tons each day, 1,140 tons each month and 13,650 tonnes each year! And that is just the amount we know about. Plastic causes so many issues in the waterways as it gets eaten by marine creatures, breaks down into tiny microplastics and ultimately ends up in our food chain (heard of microplastics in drinking water, salt and oysters?) …

6. How do you like our new Fridge?

Let us explain why we replaced our old fridge. You know that based on our values we’d want to reuse and repair as much as possible, rather than buying new. In this case though, there were a few reasons that made us consider buying new instead …

7. Taste of Manly

Taste of Manly brought an amazing 120,000 visitors to Manly over the last weekend of May, apparently 20% more than the previous year. The weather was beautiful and we had the opportunity to be there with a stall as part of the Sustainability Hub organized by the Northern Beaches Council …

8.  We are officially Ocean Friendly

Have you heard of the Ocean Friendly certification by the Surfrider Foundation? This newly launched program certifies and promotes Australian (food) businesses who are protecting our ocean, waves and beaches. The ultimate goal is to raise awareness and encourage all Australians to make environmentally conscious changes to their daily practices with a focus on eliminating single-use plastic …

9.  Staple Sourdough Bread now at the Co-Op

Have you heard of Staple Sourdough Bread? James Partington’s bread has just been awarded the ‘Best Sourdough Nationally’ by the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW who are the organizers of the Royal Easter Show. He was judged best out of 362 entries from more than 80 bakeries. Amazing! Congratulations, James! …

10. Can we save our Coral Reefs?

“Chasing Coral” is a moving and alerting documentary about how coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. Divers, photographers and scientists set out on an ocean adventure to discover why the reefs are disappearing and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world. The crew go through a lot of effort to document the change that happens on the reefs and one can see the frustration and sadness that comes with experiencing this change first hand …

11.  2017 in Review

What an eventful year it has been! After over 20 years the Manly Food Co-Op was about to close. But it is thanks to you all, our members, volunteers, supporters and the wider community that we are still open and thriving with renewed energy.  Here are some of the highlights of 2017 …

Christmas Gift Guide12. Christmas Gift Ideas Co-Op Style, Part II

Still needing some inspiration on what Christmas Gifts to get your loved ones, friends, or colleagues? Don’t worry, there’s still time to get your Christmas Shopping done and we’ve got you covered at the Co-Op! …

13. Busy Start to Summer – Christmas Party and Ocean Care Day

What an eventful week it has been! We had our Christmas Party ahttp://manlyfoodcoop.org/christmas-gift-guide/nd participated in Ocean Care Day. A big thank you to all our volunteers who made this possible! …

14. Christmas Gift Guide Part I

Have you started your Christmas planning yet? Need some inspiration on what to get for your loved ones, friends, colleagues, your kid’s teachers? Don’t despair, we have you covered! Especially when you are looking for a thoughtful gift that is environmentally sustainable, good for our planet and your health …

15. What a Turnout!

What in early August seemed like an impossible feat turned into an incredible success story. We were overwhelmed by the massive support we received from the community during the fundraising campaign to save the co-op. It was a crazy time. Trying to raise $50,000 within less than two weeks seemed impossible. But our fundraising committee was committed and consisted of 18 passionate members. Many phone calls were made, but we also engaged with like-minded local organizations, zero waste and permaculture groups on Facebook and Instagram, bloggers, local businesses, colleagues, friends and many more. The support was fantastic and we achieved our goal 1 day early and ended up with a total of $52,605 and 286 individual supporters! A massive thank you to all our supporters! It is thanks to you all that the co-op can keep its doors open …

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